In case you didn't know, my full name is exactly the same as it was before I tied the proverbial knot. You may be confused as to why I would choose to be unorthodox in this way. Let me enlighten you.
1. I like my name the way it is. It rolls off the tongue nicely. My parents did a good job naming me. Although I do sort of wish they would have gone by my mom's fantastic French Basque surname: Etchepare (etch-a-pear).
2. My name is fraught with genealogical significance. Yes, Miller is about the most boring last name in America* (and, incidentally, Germany), but it is the name of my forebears, and I revere it for that reason. I like to remember that it was once the German Müller (we have this cool Amish family history book that dates my direct namesake line back to the first Miller to come to America, back in the seventeenth century). My first and middle names are derived from the first names of my maternal grandparents, Jean and Olive. I come from a long line of Basque "Jeans" and "Jeannes". And besides being the name of my grandmother, Olivia is just a really awesome middle name. There was no way I was going to scrap it. I value my ancestors not only because of my religion. As a geneticist, I find genealogy particularly interesting. So I chose not to eliminate my heritage from my name just because I decided to change my marital status. Those of you who have researched your ancestors and done family history know that the maiden name is the only one that counts, anyway.
3. I am the only child of the oldest child, of the oldest child, of the oldest child down the Miller line. I am also the first female born on my father's side (obviously) in one hundred years. I feel that this somehow gives me especial reason to retain my original surname.
4. My mother didn't change her last name . . . until I was in high school (I was kind of mad when she did that without telling me). When she married she was an established, successful person. Changing her name would have been extra-complicated and would have ruined her impact factor. I remember people calling for Ms. Etchepare all the time when I was a kid. I didn't think anything of it; that was my mom's name. Because of her decision, I have no pre-existing notions that a woman must change her surname to that of her husband upon her marriage. Also, my mother-in-law hyphenated her name, so Husband doesn't have any problems with my decision either.
5. I eliminated hyphenating because Husband wouldn't hyphenate too. He likes his name the way it is (plus he didn't grow up being indoctrinated to believe that one day his name would have to change to that of his spouse). I probably would have hyphenated if he had been willing to take on the hyphenated last name as well.
6. The name Herrick reminds me of two things. The first is Robert Herrick, the famous poet (whose father was, coincidentally, named Nicholas). The second is the species of fish known as herring. While I find Robert Herrick's poetry amusing for its irony (a clergyman writing sensual poetry that urges young, unmarried women to be sexually active), I loathe seafood. Wikipedia describes the herring as an "oily fish", which does not help matters. Miller reminds me of a happy, pleasant middle-aged man living on the outskirts of a small village in Germany in a quaint cottage with a windmill behind it.
7. This motivation is shameful and perhaps immature, but I've included it anyway: I want to see people's reactions. I have already had the pleasure of explaining to members of our branch that Husband and I have different last names. No one seemed very taken aback by this. Everyone calls me Sister Miller. But I really can't wait to get back to Utah and ruffle some feathers there. I'll try not to be annoying about it. If someone calls me Sister Herrick, I won't correct them. But I'll make it clear in my introductions what my full name is and what Husband's full name is. I am confident they will all catch on eventually. Am I being too optimistic here?
If you are married, why did you/your spouse keep or change names when you got married? If you are single, what would you do with your name if you got married?
*I've found that famous people with average first names and boring last names tend to go by their full three names. For instance, Sarah Parker becomes Sarah Jessica Parker; Catherine Jones becomes Catherine Zeta-Jones, etc.